Recently, I learned about an astrology discipline that's speaking to my own indecisive, wanderlusty soul: astrocartography. Learning how to read astrocartography can help with future vacation planning, relocation, and more—and your astrocartography guide awaits.
What is astrocartography?
Astrocartography, also known as "relocation astrology" or the "astrology of place," is a discipline of astrology. Astrologers believe different places on Earth hold different planetary energies for each person, based on where and when they were born.
Clarisse Monahan, an astrologer and tarot reader, explains that astrocartography “uses the scientific aspects of geography and astronomy, showing you which places will have the most significant impact by looking at how the angles in your chart are performing in these new locations.” In other words, the intel can provide insight into the best and worst places for you to live and travel, energetically speaking.
So, if you, say, studied abroad in Melbourne, Australia, and felt a new rush of confidence there, it could be because that city lies on your sun line. ("Lines" are latitude lines that correspond with the major celestial bodies, and they're different for everyone depending on that person's natal astrology chart.) Or, conversely, if you recently moved to New York City and have felt overworked and weighed down ever since, it could be because the Big Apple's on a Saturn line for you.
While astrocartography may sound supremely woo-woo, astrologer Dara Dubinet contends that it's actually a super-practical life tool. "Any time we're thinking of relocating, traveling, holding a retreat, or having a wedding, it’s good to know what energies the destination holds for us," she says. It's also good to be aware of the vibes of the place where you're living in right now, since they may be affecting you in either a positive or negative way.
As with all forms of astrology, Monahan adds that astrocartography is simply another tool we can use to help us on our life-long journey of self-discovery.
The history of astrocartography
It’s shocking that more people aren’t talking about relocation astrology, given how mainstream astrology has become. (Same with chart ruler astrology, the north node in astrology, and your astrocartography past life.) But there's a good reason why it’s one of the astrology terms that’s remained under the radar for so long. "Before 1978, it was a very complicated process—it could take days of people measuring and mapping," says Dubinet. But in that year, an astrologer named Jim Lewis streamlined a method to chart out people's personal hot spots more quickly and easily, so more could use the intel, and he trademarked it "astrocartography."
Thanks to computers, we're now able to get our own astrocartography maps with the tap of a trackpad, either by going deep in a session with a pro astrologer or downloading your chart basics for free from astro.com. If you choose to go the DIY route, however, be warned—it's a lot to take in. The good news is this guide on how to read astrocartography will help you on your journey.
How astrocartography can benefit your life
Whether you’re doing some future vacation planning, looking for travel astrology insights, or are hoping to use astrology for relocation, having an astrocartography guide that helps you learn how to read astrocartography can come in handy.
“By learning the language of astrology, we can identify where in the world would hold different activations for us,” says Helena Woods, an astrocartographer, astrologer, and locational astrology teacher. “Astrocartography can benefit our lives in a myriad of ways, from learning where we’ll feel most energized, expansive, and productive, to where we will feel the most peace and ease in our personal and domestic life.”
Woods says your map and relocation chart can also show you super specific things—everything from the best place to work on the novel you’ve been dreaming of writing to where you would have the most active dating life. Talisa Zampieri, the intuitive tarot reader, astrologer, and astrocartography expert behind Two Wander, says astrocartography can also give the reassurance you need to make bold moves in your life. “Astrocartography can benefit someone's life by acting as a supportive tool for clarity, alignment, and decision-making ability when choosing where to live or to maximize a holiday experience,” she says.
Ready to dive into the ins and outs of astrocartography? Below, you’ll learn how to use astrology for relocation, gain some vacation astrology tips, and discover how astrocartography mapping can help ensure you’re in the right place at the right time for all your future adventures.
How to decode your astrocartography chart
First, you'll want to establish your own personal astrocartography chart to guide this process. There are many free astrocartography tools to help get started, but ultimately, your map must be tailored for your unique astrological self.
Once you've run your own personal map—using your birth date, time, and place—you'll receive a map of the world with tons of crisscrossing colored lines on it. Each of these lines is linked with a certain celestial body, and each one is thought to bring out certain qualities in you when you're in a place near that line.
But how do you read astrocartography maps? The best way to make sense of it all, says Dubinet, is to first think about what you're looking to call into your life—a summer fling, financial success, creative inspiration, that kind of thing. Then, determine which planet that desire corresponds with and find that planetary line on your astrocartography map. Places on or near that line are said to contain the energy of its respective planet. Here's a rundown of each planet's energy, in Dubinet's words:
- Sun line: "The sun is good for being seen—it gives you a healthy dose of ego. I call it your fame and reputation [line]."
- Moon line: "The moon represents the divine feminine. It has to do with mothering yourself and others."
- Mercury line: "Mercury is the planet of communication. Places on your Mercury line would be great for writing a book or activating your interest in something."
- Venus line: "Venus is the planet of love, beauty, and relationships, as well as design and style."
- Mars line: "Mars is drive. It's passion. If you want to feel lots of masculine energy, go somewhere on a Mars line."
- Jupiter line: "Jupiter is the planet of joy, expansion, and abundance. It's a good one."
- Saturn line: "In the long term, places on your Saturn lines can be aging and bring too much responsibility. But they're certainly good if you want to bring discipline and order into your life—like if you're choosing where to go to college."
- Uranus line: "If Saturn's like the old man, Uranus is the teenage rebel. It comes in the form of surprises and change."
- Neptune line: "Neptune is so spiritual, but you can't see things clearly on a Neptune line. You wouldn't necessarily want to live there."
- Pluto line: "If you need to shake things up, go to a Pluto line—it's gonna cause destruction, but also rebirth and growth."
- Chiron line: "[The asteroid] Chiron is the magical healer. It gives a little bit of life purpose insight [by indicating] how we're supposed to help others."
- North and south nodes: "These represent your karma and fate. [Places on the node lines] feel like home, almost as if you'd been there before."
You may notice that some of your lines overlap or cross each other—for instance, my Jupiter and Pluto lines are right on top of each other. This just means that the energies of both are amplified in the places where they meet, says Dubinet.
The four cardinal points in an astrocartography chart
Diving a little deeper, exploring the cardinal points in an astrocartography can give you insight into four areas of your life: self, relationship, career, and home. “Astrocartography looks at where certain planets in your chart work with or against these cardinal points,” says Monahan. “They do this by taking these points and applying them to each planet, in turn plotting them on a map. We can then use these maps to tap into their energy.”
Zampieri says if you’ve been to a Saturn MC line, for example, you can think about what you learned about your place in the world and what your work-life balance was like while you were there. Here's a rundown of each planet's energy, in Zampieri’s words:
- The Ascendant (AC): “This is the exact degree of the sun in the zodiac sign that was rising on the eastern horizon at the moment you were born. As such, it represents how you show up in the world, how you perceive it, and how you are perceived in return. Thus, AC lines can show us where we might feel most aligned in ourselves and bring those planetary influences to the forefront. For example, a Moon AC line can feel like wearing our hearts on our sleeve while a Saturn MC line can be good for personal discipline.”
- The Midheaven (MC): “This is the highest point the sun reached on that day, the culmination point. It represents what we are working toward—our legacy, career, and public image. MC lines can bring the planetary focus to our life path and profession. For example, a Jupiter MC line can be good for growth and expansion in our business.”
- The Descendant (DC): “This is where the sun set on the western horizon, directly opposite the Ascendant, as such it represents our partnerships. DC lines can bring a focus to the other, so going to a Venus DC line can emphasize a desire for relationships and allow us to foster harmonious ones (always depending on what Venus is doing in your natal chart, of course).”
- The IC (Imuni Coeli): “The IC point is the nadir, the lowest point of the sun, opposite the midheaven. It represents our inner world, lineage, and upbringing. Going to an IC line can feel like home and where we belong. A Mercury IC line, for example, can bring us friendships that feel like family or can be good for private learning and self-expression.”
How astrocartography can help you decide where to relocate
Astrolocatrography is also called “relocation astrology” for a reason. If you’re looking to make a big move, Zampieri says it can be a helpful tool in determining where you should be.
“Astrocartography can help you decide where to relocate by using it in conjunction with your own intuition and reasoning for what is best for your current situation,” she says. “What kind of climates do you like, do you need city or nature, what’s your budget, are you moving for work or with family? By combining astrocartography with places you’re already interested in, you can more easily make a decision.”
But how does using astrology for relocation work, exactly? Woods says each planet has its “own specific archetypal meaning, as well as their own unique story based on our birth charts.” Once you decide what’s most important to you at this current moment (like relationships and community, for example), you can look for details in those areas in your relocation chart.
“We have many lines criss-crossing on our astro maps,” says Woods. “Aside from knowing your current priorities, it's a nice way to determine where to be in the world by looking at the best planetary lines, latitude crossings (or parans, which tell us at which latitude would be the best), local space lines (which show us which specific cities/towns), and then timing it (so that particular area of life is activated and eventful).”
With a little help from an astrocartography guide, using astrology for relocation could help you uncover the best possible place to move to—somewhere that will leave you feeling happy and fulfilled.
Using astrocartography to plan future vacations
While learning how to read astrocartography can be great for relocation, it's also a top-notch skill for future vacation planning. According to Woods, one of the best ways to gain travel astrology insights through astrocartography mapping is by taking your astro map and adding the overlay of the transits and progressions. This allows you to see the right timing and overall energy. Talk about a prime vacation astrology tip.
“We all have planetary lines on our maps, but certain themes and energies become activated when we have a transit or progression moving across that exact area where that line is placed,” says Woods. “Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beachside vacation that feels dreamy and ease-filled, a spiritual meditation retreat to connect deeply with nature, or an active and adventurous scuba diving adventure, astro lines and latitude paran lines are really helpful in determining those specific energies.”
Need a starting place? Zampieri says for the long-term, Uranus lines are often considered too unstable. “But for just a short trip it can be exhilarating and exciting,” she says. “You can also look to the planetary ruler of your ninth house of travel for destinations that can help expand your worldview.”
With these vacation astrology tips, you'll be able to better plan the getaway of your dreams. With that being said, you can also experience a certain location’s astrological energy without ever leaving the comfort of your home.
You don't have to visit a place to experience its astrological energy
According to Dubinet’s travel astrology insights, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is where I will experience “explosive abundance.” But there's just one problem: I'm not about to travel there. And as much as I'd love to add that stamp to my passport, I don't think I'll be able to any time soon. The good news is that she says this doesn't matter...
Of course, being in a given location would seem to be the best way to soak in its energy. And while that may be true, Dubinet claims you can also bring its influence into your life without leaving home. "You can call in the energies from the cosmos wherever you are,” she says. “There are great ways of bringing them into the place you’re living now, without feeling like you have to relocate."
Immerse yourself in the energy of the destination
For example, let's say France is a particularly lucky place for you according to your astrocartography chart. If you can't physically go there to soak in its good fortune, Dubinet suggests channeling your inner French girl by listening to French music, watching French movies, wearing clothes by French designers, taking a French cooking class—you get the idea. You can also look for opportunities to connect with people from that place, as they may be able to deliver an important lesson or experience. (BRB, going to swipe for Brazilian guys on Hinge.)
And you may not have to try very hard with the latter. Monahan says many often naturally sync with people from their power lines. “Venus lines, of course, represent romantic connections and these are people you will easily attract and can create harmonious relationships with,” she says. “People from Jupiter lines tend to offer wisdom and knowledge and usually show up as teachers or mentors in life.” Pro tip: If you’re feeling stuck in your dating life, Monahan encourages experimenting with setting up new locations on dating apps to shake things up.
Focus on the energy of the astrocartography line
Furthermore, Monahan says you can also harness the power of your astrocartography lines by connecting with the energy of the lines themselves. To do so, she recommends choosing one planet you want to work with and focus on the energy that the planet represents. For instance, if you want to connect with your Jupiter line, get to know the planet intimately first. “Jupiter is known as the Greater Benefic, the most positive planet in the sky,” Monahan says. “It is associated with luck, higher wisdom, philosophy, generosity, coherence and expansion.”
From there, Monahan says you can apply the planet’s keywords to the places on your Jupiter line. “Are there certain philosophies from these areas you want to find out more about?,” she says. “Is there a language or culture you want to learn more about? Are there historical books you really want to dig into to find out more about these places?” Get curious and approach the areas through a Jupiter lens.
Don't stress—there's no such thing as a "bad" place for you
Let's say that you've got your astrocartography map and you find out that you're living on a tricky line, like Saturn or Neptune. Remain calm, says Dubinet. "The biggest thing is not to be fearful of the harder lines, because there are things that they all are giving us," she says. "If you chose a more challenging line to live on, it’s only making you stronger and more evolved. It might be the shake-up you need."
Monahan echoes this, adding that because everyone’s astrocartography chart is individual and features a mix of different planets and energies, there are no difficult lines. Of course, if you live on an astrocartography line of a benefic planet (aka the ones with a positive influence) such as Venus and Jupiter, things can be very positive, but only if those planets are in good condition in your chart. “If you have a natal Venus that is being hindered/aspected in a difficult way, moving to this line only agitates and aggravates this situation,” Monahan says.
And vice versa, malefic planets (ones with more challenging energies) such as Mars and Saturn can be tricky to navigate, but for people who have a strong sense of the planets in their charts, they can be very productive places for them. “Saturn can be great for completing a body of work, or undertaking a serious study,” Monahan says. “Mars can be perfect if you are someone who thrives in a fast-moving, busy energy.”
So again, there’s no such thing as a bad place to be, but rather each place has a different energy to it, and astrocartography helps you tap into those energies depending on what you need during whatever phase of life you’re in. “Make sure you are moving to [or traveling to] a place that complements your chart and encourages expression of what you are looking to do next in your life,” Monahan says. For example, a high-energy, social place may have been great for you during your young, single days, but as you get ready to start a family, maybe you’re craving a slower, more supportive energy.
The takeaway: Astrocartography mapping can help you better understand the energetic influences of different geographic locations and how they specifically apply to you and your life. Then you plan your travels (or big moves) accordingly.
Frequently asked questions about astrocartography
What are the best astrocartography lines to live on?
The answer to this question is going to be different for everyone. “There is no best astrocartography line, as the lines all depend on the person’s natal planet,” says Woods. “Jupiter and Venus are the two benefics in astrology, or the two most positive planets. Generally, they feel light, ease-filled, and abundant. However, if someone has a poorly-placed planet (even if it is as magical as a planet as Venus or Jupiter), it can be more challenging for someone.”
Zampieri says the best astrocartography lines to live on depend on your intentions and your own natal chart. “Look to the most relevant house/planet/placement and then to which is the most ‘dignified’ planet in your natal chart,” she says. “For example, if you are seeking a partner, you can look to either the planetary ruler of your seventh house or to Venus, depending on which one is in better condition in your natal chart.”
What is the difference between MC and IC in astrocartography?
According to Zampieri, the difference between the MC and IC in astrocartography is visibility. “The MC is our most public point. It brings the planetary significations to our career and professional life,” she says. “The IC is our inner sanctum. A deeply intimate and tender point, it can infuse the planetary significations into our psyche or home life instead.”
Is Rising the same as Ascendant?
Yes, the Ascendant and Rising Sign are the same thing. “The Ascendant is simply the exact degree within the Rising Sign,” says Zampieri. “As the sun rises on the eastern horizon, it takes about two hours for it to pass through a zodiac sign of 30 degrees. The Ascendant is the precise point within it at the moment you were born.”
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